We've all seen images on the evening news of the devastation wrought by gale-force winds and tornadoes on residential homes. Wooden homes and roofs often go flying when exposed to such extreme weather conditions. Can a concrete roof offer better protection from such disasters? Take our quiz and find out.
Early humans had no option but to use caves and trees for shelter in inclement weather. Stone and wood remained key building components throughout the centuries.
Popular in the United Kingdom, thatching is a very old roofing method. The roof is built with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, rushes and heather; the vegetation is layered so as to propel water away from the inner roof.
There are several popular types of roof tiles. In much of the United States, asphalt shingles are very popular and available in many sizes, colors and textures, though clay and concrete roof tiles are often used in the warmer climates of the South and Southwest.
Concrete roof tiles were introduced in Germany in the 1840s by a cement manufacturer named Adolph Kroher, who developed a machine to press out the tiles.
A concrete roof is constructed out of a solid slab of concrete and is several inches thick.
The two most popular roofs for home construction are sloped wooden roofs sealed with tar, vegetation, tiles or shingles and solid roofs made of solid concrete or concrete mixed with other materials.
Though sloped concrete roofs require a lot more engineering and design than flat ones, they are possible. This versatility allows concrete roofs to fit just about any housing style.
A concrete roof is much less vulnerable to fire, termites, fungi and floods than is a wooden roof. A solid, well-built concrete roof (or home) should withstand the worst of such disasters.
A wooden house is usually not strong enough to support a concrete roof; if you want a concrete roof, you're best off building a home with concrete walls, floors and roof that form a solid shell and can withstand stresses such as earthquakes or snowstorms.
A solid concrete roof can withstand up to category 5 hurricane winds of more than 155 miles per hour (249 kilometers per hour) and a sloped roof made of concrete tiles can withstand up to class 3 winds of 125 miles per hour (201 kilometers per hour).